From the Desk of Pastor John

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Letter from Pastor John 2/23/18

Dear Christ Church Family,

In light of the recent school and church tragedies that have captured our attention and broken our hearts, I thought it appropriate to remind you that we take your security and safety seriously at Christ Church.  We have a highly-trained security team at Christ Church.  The team is strictly vetted and is composed of current and former law enforcement, both civilian and military, as well as other trained security and emergency professionals.  All are members of our Christ Church family.  Our security team provides ongoing training to our church staff and strategic volunteers to handle all types of emergency situations.  We also have unscheduled, monthly fire evacuation drills (held during the weekday) so that each staff person knows his/her role and responsibility.  Although you may never notice the security team or the measures that are in place to protect our church family, you may rest assured that you and your family are in a safe place at Christ Church.

Brooke Varma, the director of our Possibilities Ministry, told me a story.  In case you do not know, our Possibilities Ministry is for those who have children, youth and adults with physical, mental or emotional challenges. The little boy pictured here has a rare medical condition and the family was having a hard time finding somewhere to support him appropriately. They were really thrilled to find our Greentree School, and when they learned about our Possibilities program, which is specifically set up to offer the extra support needed, they decided to give it a try.  Brooke began to work closely with the boy’s mom and the teachers to discuss safety and supports and provided education to the staff. After a few weeks Mom was able to witness our love for her son and saw us supporting him with confidence. The lead teacher in his classroom has been an absolute blessing, which has resulted in Mom being able to have some time for herself, while this little guy THRIVES at Greentree School with his peers.

I’m not great at math, but these numbers bring me joy:
18—The number of our youth in Confirmation classes
25—The number of people who attended our first ERT (Early Response Team) training sessions last week
30—The number of young adults on retreat last weekend
60—The number of adults at Pub Theology last Tuesday evening
60—The number of fifth and sixth graders attending their “lock-in” tonight
1079—The number of us in worship last Sunday

Last but not least—Together We Rise Against Hunger
Last Sunday after worship I was sitting on the edge of the stage talking with people when one of our 8-year-old students came up to talk with me.  He said, “Pastor John, my goal for this year is to raise $1000 for Rise Against Hunger.”

 Most of you know that in 2017, the people of Christ Church, together with our friends next door at Temple B’nai Shalom, funded and packed 251,808 meals that were received by very grateful and hungry people in El Salvador.  More than 600 of you packed those meals in just three days.

 This year the people of Christ Church and Temple B’nai Shalom are going to do it again, but with a goal of 300,000 meals!  Write these dates down and clear your calendar:  Tuesday, May 30, through Saturday, June 2.  Your entire family is invited.  Each delivered meal costs 34 cents.  That means $125 will provide one, lifesaving, nutritious meal for a hungry person for an entire year!  Start thinking about what you and your family will do to Rise Against Hunger.

 I love my church family.  See you Sunday.

Posted by John Speight with